27 Years Ago: XENTRIX release Shattered Existence (UK Thrash Metal)

Preston thrashers XENTRIX released their excellent debut LP on this day in 1989 on Roadracer Records.

If you look at bands like Forbidden, Testament and Metallica which were and still are big bands, and everybody goes on about the British thrash scene but we were never really part of that scene. We were part of the global thrash scene along with Metallica, Testament, Megadeth, Anthrax and all that kind of stuff but we were a few years behind them and kind of missed the boat. We still saw ourselves as part of that, but they were ahead of us.
The other thing is that you could say that we just weren’t good enough to make it but I’ve always thought that if you’re an American band you put your first album out and then you tour America for nine months, then you come to Europe before going to Japan and Australia and you’re on tour for, like, a year and a half – on the back of your first album! If you’re a British band, you might get a couple of dates in Germany and that’s your lot! There’s no way you’re going to the States – especially not twenty five years ago. It just isn’t going to happen. We were never going to have the opportunity to get the kind of exposure all the other bands had. We felt there was no way of winning in that situation.
When we asked why it was like that we were told that when you’re an American band you have a large local footprint if you like, so if you’re signed to Roadrunner America you’re going to sell enough records to fund your trip round the world. If you’re signed to Roadrunner UK, you can’t sell enough records to pay for a trip to London and back (laughs) and that was a kind of a mis-match between us and those bands – the opportunities that we had. We still had some pretty good opportunities, though (laughs). Playing places like Hammersmith with bands like Testament and Sepultura – great times.
– Chris Astley, Metal Talk (2014)


30 Years Ago: SACRILEGE record a demo at Rich Bitch Studios

SACRILEGE entered legendary Rich Bitch Studios, Birmingham on this day in 1986.

All of the tracks that had been demo versions were written for the album, we used to write songs and record them quite quickly to see how they sounded, we also had played a few live shows and the fans liked the new material so for us it was always going to be the songs from the demos on the LP.

The mini LP Behind the Realms of Madness was recorded at Rich Bitch a year prior and released by Children of the Revolution. It was a one album deal so during early-mid 1986 they began writing and demoing material for a debut album. The album would be Within the Prophecy, released in January 1987 by Under One Flag / Music For Nations. All but one song from this demo made it to the LP.

The deal with COR was only ever for one LP, we used to rehearse and record demos at Rich Bitch Studios in Birmingham and were quite friendly with the owners of the studio Rob and Linda Bruce who had expressed their concern about us signing to FM Revolver Records and offered once we were released for the FM contract to record the next LP (“Within The Prophecy”) and they would shop around for a record label to release it, so we took them up on their very kind offer and recorded “Within The Prophecy” at Rich Bitch Studios.
– Andy Baker, Voices from the Darkside

30 Years Ago: SABBAT record and release Fragments of a Faith Forgotten

This tape is dedicated to all who have died at the hands of the christian church, by war and inquisition…….. They shall be avenged.

That was the demo cassette that got us the deal with Noise Records. The demos were copied one at a time, my parents had a hi-fi with a twin cassette player on it, and each of the cassettes was hand-copied in real-time recording. If anybody’s got one of those, it was recorded on my parents’ hi-fi. They were recorded on computer tapes – before disc drives, the first computers had a cassette instead of a CD, and we recorded on those tapes, because we had no money, and we had to do it really cheap.

This month marks 30 years since the recording of SABBAT’s second demo. All three songs made it to the classic debut History of a Time to Come almost unchanged, although the vocals here are savage! British Black Metal!

C.M.F.T. Productions CD Reissues – East Anglia Metal Label 1988-1990

Mosh Tunage (sister label of Boss Tunage) continue to unearth interesting and often forgotten UK punk and metal recordings with a series of C.M.F.T. licensed reissues.

These four albums were either LP-only until now or never released:

Moral Crusade – An Act of Violence (released by C.M.F.T. on vinyl in 1990)
Pendemia – Narcotic Religion (released by C.M.F.T. on vinyl in 1990)
Xyster – In Good Faith (released by C.M.F.T. on vinyl in 1989)
Snyper – Manifestations (this was never released because C.M.F.T. folded before it was pressed, and the band split up)

C.M.F.T. Productions was based in a town just down the road from us – Bury St. Edmunds. Between 1988 and 1990 they released several LPs, and a couple of CDs and tapes. The majority of their releases were UK and European thrash, but for one of the their releases they found a true gem… TIAMAT‘s debut Sumerian Cry! A masterpiece album!!!

After the recording, “Sumerian Cry” got released by CMFT, a record company in England. The album barely got any attention when it was released. I think CMFT was already as good as bankrupt when the album came out. We never did any promotion for it, I can’t remember that we even did a single interview for it or that even a single ad was placed in a magazine for it. ENTOMBED and CARNAGE were much more lucky because their record company really stood behind them.
– Jörgen “Juck” Thullberg (Voices from the Darkside webzine)

Aside from the four reissues, TIAMAT and BRUTAL OBSCENITY’s “It’s Because of the Birds and the Flowers” (which had a CD release in 89) the only other C.M.F.T. releases are a MYSTIC FORCE demo collection, UK Thrash Assault compilation (89) and the first releases on the label – two SNYPER demo tapes.

You can read a label feature on C.M.F.T. in Snakepit issue 21.